Fancast Movie of the Week: “Modify”

Once a week, I’m going to pick out one of Fancast’s many full-length free feature films to spotlight. Sure, you’ll check out the big stuff like Prelude to a Kiss, Moon Over Miami and The Taking of Pelham 123, but the smaller movies need shout-outs, too.

The Fancast Movie of the Week is Modify, a fascinating and unflinching documentary about the art and process of body modification – this includes everything from tattoos and scarring to implants and transgender surgeries. Learn what drives people do change their bodies so drastically to express themselves, but be warned that this is not for the faint of heart.

Check out Modify and a Q&A with filmmaker Jason Gary after the jump.

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Q&A with “Modify” Director/Producer Jason Gary

Q: How did you first decide to make a film about body modification? Who or what was the catalyst that made you know you had to dive deeper into this world?
Jason Gary: My co-director Greg Jacobson first came to me with two books and the desire to make a film. The books were Modern Primitives and Modcon. I was shocked at how little knowledge I had about this culture and knew myself and others needed more! Greg and I decided that we wanted to cover all forms of Body Modifications. That’s how this wild journey began.

Q: How difficult was it to get these folks to open up to you and the camera? Did you find that they were mostly eager for the attention, as some would claim, or that they were reluctant to talk about their personal expression?
Gary: Greg booked the talent, I filmed them. Greg spent a lot of time getting the trust and the right people to be in Modify. Never has so many stars in the Body Modification world been put together in a film. Of course there were some people dying for attention and to be in the flick.

Q: Which modification featured in the film did you find the most bizarre? Or did they start to lose their stunning effect once you delved into this community? How about which one was regarded as the most painful?
Gary: The two most stunning modifications for me were the transgender surgeries and the tongue split. We were lucky to be the first to show Dr. Gary Alters male to female procedure – think about that for a second. Greg passed out during a large skin removal. Yes, I did get a little numb after awhile.

Q: Is there any modification you saw in making this film that you’d really like to have done yourself?
Gary: If I get any work it will be a full back piece by Jen Davis, who is in the film and is the most talented tattoo artist I have ever seen.

Q: What would you say to someone sitting down to watch this film for the first time to get them ready for what they’re about to see? What cool or interesting things should they look out for specifically, or what winds up being the most talked-about part of the film in your experience?
Gary: For someone watching it for the first time, I promise you will not be bored! This is the most complete, open, inside look at Body Modification you can have. 47 original tracks, so crank it up because the film is cut to the beat of music. You will learn something new – everyone who
watches it does. Also it moves fast, so pay attention or you will miss something.

Q: What would you say is the overall message an audience should take away from “Modify?”
Gary: The film’s poster says “No one should dictate to me what I can or cannot do to my body” This film speaks to your freedom to do and be who and what you want to be. Thanks for watching!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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